Reading recommendation: Asynchronous Communication

Hey everyone,

last week I ran into this article on Asynchronous Communication by Doist, the company that created Todoist and Twist.

This article discusses how remote workers are more productive than non-remote workers, but that the key lies in proper asynchronous communication.

The key take aways are:

Use synchronous communication if…

  • you want to build rapport with people (1-on-1 or team meetings)
  • you need to provide critical feedback or discuss sensitive topics
  • you have lots of unknowns and need/want to brainstorm ideas
  • you have lots of moving variables and need to bring everyone on the same page (e.g. kick-off meeting)
  • a crises is happening that needs immediate communication

Synchronous communication should be the exception, not the rule.

It’s important to notice that using instant messaging is also a way of communicating synchronously. Anyways, I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t use instant messengers on a daily basis anymore, but truth be told, they are massive productivity stoppers as they keep interrupting us regularly.

Also love how their app Twist focuses on thread-based discussions.

Curious to hear what everyone thinks.


Just realized @Oskar already shared this article on #PeopeOps :slight_smile:


Thanks Pascal for sharing this - I agree with all the points!

On a personal level, I try to keep meetings to a minimum, and cancel any recurring meetings where I feel they are just taking up time on the schedule each week but not bringing a clear benefit.

I suppose this depends on the role - I personally don’t mind being “interrupted” by a ping because my role is to help people as and when they have questions, but I think we should all feel comfortable to make use of DND (or switch off IM) to not receive notifications and have whatever time we need to do deep work.

I also operate on the assumption that when I send pings, it’s understood by the receiver that I don’t urgently need a response (unless otherwise stated), and that they can feel free to respond at any point that works for them - would be curious to hear how other people feel about this!

Works for me - I love how we’ve been making more use of Discuss and that discussions there happen async, and can be referenced later.

We did look at implementing Twist but the few people that gave it a whirl (including myself) felt it looked a bit too much like email and didn’t really feel intuitive - though if more people want to give it a try we can def look at that.

Cheers! c